Laughter is the best medicine they say. There are a bunch of health benefits associated with laughter including stress hormones and blood pressure reduction, enhancing blood flow and oxygenation to the cells and organs. Besides, laughter acts as a natural workout for various groups of muscle in the human body. It can also defend our body against certain illnesses. Researchers have found that laughter helps to boost memory strength.
Laughter occurs as a natural response to stimuli that an individual find humorous, it can be visual, or in the form of audio or something that happened in the past.
How laughter occur
This is an activity that happens very fast. After an individual’s senses are exposed to what they perceive to be ‘funny’, a current runs through the nervous system to a brain part known as the cerebral cortex, then the left hemisphere of the brain interpret the words and syntactical construction.
The role of the right hemisphere of the brain is to get the “funny” part of the decoded words. The brain has a part called the visual center that forms an image of the humorous idea. The body emotional system then releases the chemical that improves mood, the body motor function is what is responsible for one bursting out in laughter.
Health benefits of laughter
- Reduces hormones associated with stress
Stress hormones are beneficial to the body in the right amount but high levels could be harmful. This can lead to the imbalance in homeostasis leading to behavioral changes. Laughter can come in handy in lessening the production of these hormones thus improving a person’s overall well-being.
- Increases health-enhancing hormones
Beneficial hormones like endorphins and neurotransmitters are increased in the body through laughter. These hormones, especially the endorphins increase a person’s pain threshold thus making laughter a natural anesthesia. On the other hand, neurotransmitters make a person’s brain function quicker, establish networks quickly and are able to understand situations and problems at a higher rate than normal.
- Laughter boosts the immune system
Various studies have shown that laughter encourages faster development of antibody cells by changing the body’s chemistry through hormonal shifts.
Increase in antibodies results from the body to be able to fight illness and infection easier. Other studies have shown that T-Cells efficiency is enhanced in people who regularly laughs.
- Laughter as a natural exercise
Laughter act as a natural exercise for some muscles in the body such as abdominal muscles, whether it is a giggle or a chuckle, muscles are used to create that movement.
- Prevents cancer
The human body contains a substance called IFN (Interferon-gamma) which stimulates the growth of B-cells, T-cells, NK cells and immunoglobulin. IFN also regulates how cells grow, as a result preventing the abnormal growth of cancerous tumors in the body. Laughter increases the level of Interferon-gamma.
- Laughter regulates blood pressure
Researchers have found that physicality associated with laughter causes an increase in blood pressure, but that rise is then followed by a decrease to below the normal level of blood pressure. It is more evidence that laughter make blood circulation more efficiently and reduce the risks of blood pressure
- Improves blood oxygenation
The intense activity involving laughter leads to an increase in the blood flow as a result of the increase in heart rate, leading to an increase in the amount of oxygen flowing to the brain. This increase in oxygen levels in the brain promotes healthier brain functioning. The “mirthful laughter” increases the levels of air circulation thereby helping boost the pulmonary activity in the body.
- Improves memory
This functions in a rather complex manner. While learning, human brains normally make some connections that can be widened and made more complex by mixing simple learning with an emotional response like laughter or humor. When the level of association is varied with other parts of our brains, remembering and recalling details becomes easier due to the fact that there are more linkages present in our memory.
- Enhances Mood
Studies have found that laughter can improve a person’s mood and increase their happiness levels. The pain-relieving quality in laughter can reduce insentient pain causing a person to be in good mood. This can still work even with a forced laughter, without any humorous stimulus as the brain does not know or register whether the stimulus is genuine or not.
- Promotes creativity
Laughter has a huge impact on major chemical processes in the body. Combination of various hormones activities results in an increase in the level of creativity. The left and the right brain hemispheres can efficiently work together when the brain health is improved thus promoting the growth of creativity.
How to bring more laughter into your life
There are so many ways that you can bring laughter into your life.
This is how laughter starts, by smiling. The smile and laughter some time achieve by doing stupid things like poking friends, funny things to ask Siri in iPhone and joking Madly.
Also, Hang around funny and high spirited people and try to bring humor into any conversations.
- Developing your sense of humor
The best way to develop a good sense of humor is by taking yourself lightly. Don’t be harsh on yourself when you make mistakes rather crack some jokes about those mistakes and laugh at them.
Don’t complain when things are not going your way. Try laughing at situations that are not favorable or are not what you expected.
Hang some visual images on the walls that will lift your spirits, be it office walls or bedroom walls or living room walls or a wherever room you spent some time in every day.
A little Down Side of laughter
Laughter may results in sore muscles particularly when you laugh out loud and hard for long periods of time. The affected muscles may include abdominal muscles, though this is not a permanent effect and in some instances, it can act as a form of exercise.
Laughter may also have some negative effects when a person is recovering from surgery in any area of the body that may be physically affected by the act of laughing.